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FC Barcelona: Biggest Questions Entering 2013

Tre' AtkinsonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2013

FC Barcelona: Biggest Questions Entering 2013

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    With the New Year underway, fans from around the world will be asking many questions regarding their favorite clubs. For Barcelona it is no different.

    The Catalans succumbed to a dismal 2012. Only one major trophy was won and rivals Real Madrid took the league from them. However there were bright points in 2012 as well, such as Lionel Messi’s 91 goals.

    La Blaugrana have many questions that will absolutely be answered in the current year and some may be very serious. Fans continue to expect excellence from Barcelona and 2013 holds the key for the historic club to remain the world’s best.

    While we are just a few days into 2013, it is certainly not too early to begin to look at what the year will hold for the Catalan giants.

    With that being said, let's take a look at the biggest questions Barcelona faces in 2013. 

Will Lionel Messi Break His Own Record?

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    The world of football is still talking about the record breaking year of Lionel Messi.

    We all know that Messi netted 91 goals to set the mark for the most in a calendar year, but can he break his own record (via FIFA)?

    It is crazy to imagine a player scoring 91 goals in one year, but even crazier is the thought that the same player could do it again.

    Naturally, it is hard to fathom that anyone, including Messi, will reach this number again. With the Argentine now entering the prime of his career though, the feat is not necessarily impossible.

    Lionel Messi is currently on track to break his own goal record in a La Liga season in the current campaign. The fact of the matter is that Leo Messi is actually getting even better.

    So will we all be talking about 92-plus-goals come December? We will have to wait to find out. 

What Will Happen with David Villa?

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    Doubts continue to rise over the future of David Villa at Barcelona.

    Goal recently reported that a number of English teams are interested in the Spanish striker, with Arsenal leading the way. Playing time has become scarce for Villa this season, and he could be on his way out of Barcelona soon.

    Naturally then, one of the biggest questions Barcelona will face in 2013 is that of Villa’s future with the club.

    The Daily Mail reported that a loan bid for Villa from Liverpool was rejected by Barcelona. It is clear the club want to keep the striker, at least until this summer.

    While teammates such as Andres Iniesta want David Villa to stay put, his future will be determined on his performance in the second half of the current season (via ESPN).

Who Will Be Puyol's Replacement?

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    When is Puyol going to leave the starting lineup and who will take his spot?

    This question has been asked for over two years now but 2013 must finally bring an answer for La Blaugrana. With the constant injuries that El Capitá picks up, his replacement must be found this year.

    There is no doubting the fact that Puyol wants to remain in the Barcelona lineup, but the club may already be preparing his replacement.

    Marc Bartra looks the most likely to eventually take over for his Catalan elder.

    The club was reluctant to buy a world class center-back this summer, which could possibly mean they see youth as the eventual answer.

    But no one ever knows just how a youth player will work out. Though Bartra and fellow young center-back Marc Muniesa both boast talent, the club could opt to buy.

    Will 2013 finally be the year that Barcelona addresses this question? We are all hoping so. 

Will Martin Montoya Take the Right-Back Spot from Dani Alves?

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    Dani Alves has been a mainstay in the Barcelona lineup since he joined from Sevilla in 2008, but 21-year-old La Masia graduate Martin Montoya has nearly put the Brazilian on the bench this season.

    The Daily Mail recently reported that Arsenal were interest in Dani Alves due to his drop in Barcelona’s pecking order, but let us be honest for a minute, Dani Alves is going nowhere this January.

    The real question in 2013 is whether Montoya will take the right-back starting job from Dani Alves?  

    Martin Montoya is young, quick, good in attack and a better defender than Alves. Not to mention that Montoya is a La Masia graduate. Everyone knows that Montoya is the future starter, but will he become the current starter?

    Alves has until May to show that the position is still his, or he could be seeing the exit door. This is by far the most exciting positional battle at at the club.

Will Neymar Be Coming This Year?

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    Everyone is growing tired of the Neymar speculations. Where will the starlet be heading and when is he leaving Brazil?

    The biggest speculation appears to be when he will finally put on a Blaugrana shirt?

    Pedro recently made comments on the possibility of Neymar joining Barcelona (via Marca). On top of this, Neymar’s current coach even claimed he must join Barcelona (via Goal).

    Though Neymar and his people continue to hold out until 2014, not many expect that to happen.

    Xoel Cardenas recently claimed that Barcelona president Sandro Rosell will make a valiant push this summer for the Brazilian, and he couldn't be more right.

    Barcelona will attempt to bring Neymar to Catalonia this summer, but will it actually happen? The world awaits the decision.

Which Youth Players Will Break Out?

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    The annual question at Barcelona always revolves around the youth at the club. Cules wonder each year who will break out next, and that may be one of the biggest questions in 2013.

    As stated, Martin Montoya and Marc Bartra could eventually become starters, but Cristian Tello may also break into the starting lineup as he recently signed a contract extension (via fcbarcelona).

    There are also many B team players that will look to get minutes in 2013. Gerard Deulofeu, Rafinha, and Sergi Roberto are just a few of the young stars waiting for their turn.

    However, we can never accurately predict who will break out next. Cules will have to sit back and enjoy the possibilities that 2013 holds for the Blaugrana babies.

Will Barcelona Win the Treble....or More?

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    The biggest question in 2013 is also the one that speaks for itself. Will Barcelona win the treble or possibly six total trophies?

    The Catalans already have a commanding lead as the La Liga rae may already be over. The club is also soaring through the Copa del Rey and recently won their group in the Champions League.

    No one can doubt that Barcelona has the talent to win the treble, but actually winning the silverware is an extremely difficult feat.

    If the treble is achieved, Barcelona could possibly go on to win three more trophies at the start of next season.

    But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Winning six trophies, or merely the treble, is almost impossible to do. While Barcelona can take six trophies in 2013, it should be regarded as unlikely.

    However this will not keep the Barcelona faithful from crossing their fingers in hopes of six. 

     

    So what are your biggest questions for Barcelona this year? How do you see these being answered? Don't forget to leave your thoughts and comments below.

     

    Tre' Atkinson, The Catalan Blood of Bleacher Report. 

     

    Check out my latest articles here.

    La Masia Spotlight: Rafinha

    10 Fastest Players in Barcelona History

    Barcelona Mid-Season Review and Grades

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